Classical Music and Postmodern Knowledge by Lawrence Kramer

By Lawrence Kramer

A prime cultural theorist and musicologist opens up new percentages for realizing mainstream Western paintings music—the "classical" song composed among the eighteenth and early 20th centuries that's, for plenty of, wasting either its status and its charm. while this tune is appeared esoterically, faraway from real-world pursuits, it more and more sounds extra evasive than transcendent. Now Lawrence Kramer exhibits how classical song can tackle new that means and new lifestyles while approached from postmodernist standpoints.

Kramer attracts out the musical implications of up to date efforts to appreciate cause, language, and subjectivity in terms of concrete human actions instead of to common rules. Extending the rethinking of musical expression began in his past Music as Cultural Practice, he regards track not just as an item that invitations aesthetic reception but additionally as an task that vitally shapes the non-public, social, and cultural identities of its listeners.

In language obtainable to nonspecialists yet informative to experts, Kramer presents an unique account of the postmodernist ethos, explains its dating to tune, and explores that courting in a sequence of case reviews starting from Haydn and Mendelssohn to Ives and Ravel.

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A subject fully determined by the summons would be transfixed by it, a condition some music certainly encourages and some listeners seek. The effect would resemble the ideological "interpellation" theorized by Louis Althusser, in which the subject, answering a "hail," yields to a coercion misrecognized as freedom. In contrast, a measure of difference between the summons and answering subject may open a space hospitable to critical understanding, dissemination, negotiations of meaning and value.

They are always threatening to crumble from within, and the effort to stabilize them enhances their hierarchical effect. 16 On both counts, we risk allying ourselves with the cultural agenda of domination whenever we embrace a duality, however abstract or depoliticized, that repeats the logic of alterity. The energies of valuation have high voltage; a duality is a treacherous instrument to ply. Just how treacherous Arnold and Nietzsche make clear. Arnold calls for a modern poetry subservient to classical Greek models and, therefore, willy-nilly, to the interests of the socially privileged university men whose education was based on the Greek classics.

But the same commitment will just as often lead us to make legible the resistances, or, better yet, the positive disseminal energies, that arise within the very works that articulate the dualities we question. It should be added, too, that binary thinking may already be historical in another sense. In the present era of fiber optics, digital information technology, and global economy, the logic of alterity may be less culturally central than it once was. "11 But this "informatics of domination," as Haraway calls it,12 does not in fact wholly < previous page page_39 next page > < previous page page_40 next page > Page 40 disempower the logic of alterity and in important ways may empower it further.

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